Larry Bird Pens Touching Tribute to Bill Walton

Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird honored teammate and friend Bill Walton with a touching message after news of the latter’s passing on Monday.

The NBA world was rocked on Monday by the news of basketball legend Bill Walton’s passing. While Walton is closely associated with the Portland Trail Blazers and his broadcasting career, he’s a big part of the Boston Celtics’ family as well after playing two seasons for the team and helping the organization win a title in 1986.

As Celtics fan mourn the loss of a literal and figurative giant, all-time great Larry Bird took the time to reflect on his friend on Monday.

Bird highlighted his “love” for Walton as both a friend and teammate. He also noted it was a “thrill” to play alongside his “childhood idol” and win a championship ring together, before extending his condolences to the Walton family.

“”He is one of the greatest ever to play the game. I am sure that all of my teammates are as grateful as I am that we were able to know Bill, he was such a joy to know and he will be sorely missed. My family and I extend our sincere condolences to the Walton family.””

– Larry Bird

Walton made an immediate impact after joining the Celtics in 1985. He went on to win the Sixth Man of the Year award following averages of 7.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists in just 19.3 minutes per game. Boston eventually won the title that season with Walton (7.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG and 1.7 APG) making strong contributions off the bench during the playoffs.

Unfortunately, the injury bug bit the big man once again the next season, limiting Walton to just 10 games played as the Celts failed to defend their title. Walton then was forced to miss the 1987-88 campaign and closed the book on his playing career after that.

Coverage of the NBA just won’t be the same without Walton, who was a larger-than-life presence in every way imaginable.

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